- Climate Change
- Intelligent Building Technologies
- Building Innovations
- Corporate Sustainability
Two Big Technology-Powered Reasons the US Will Make Progress on Climate Change in 2019
The outlook for action on climate change in the US can seem gloomy in the shadow of the United Nations Conference, COP24, and the official US National Statement, which includes the intention to use all energy sources and technologies as cleanly and efficiently as possible, including fossils fuels. Despite these, there are important indications from the private sector that executives understand the importance of action and are opening their wallets to show their commitment. Corporate leadership recognizes the connection between combating climate change and their bottom line. This shows hope for US action in the absence of federal policy or regulation for two big reasons.
1. Mounting corporate commitments provide momentum for tackling climate change independent of the standstill in negotiating federal regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
In Navigant Research’s recent report, How Science-Based Targets Offer Direction
for Sustainability Performance, we took stock in the public commitments
and resulting impacts of new focused corporate initiatives. In particular, the
US has entered a new era of corporate resolution to combat climate change as
communicated through science-based targets (SBTs), which make climate commitments more concrete. Investments
inside corporate operations are usually the first step after a target is set
and result in energy and operational efficiencies that come with bottom line
benefits. The financial impact of these actions keeps internal stakeholders
committed, regardless of uncertain policy contexts or shifting stakeholder
pressures. The clear connection to key financial metrics is a major driver for
voluntary emissions reduction commitments and why neglecting them represents
missed opportunities from both a strategic and financial perspective.
2. Intelligent building technologies help business owners generate employee and customer friendly experiences to make a stronger use case for technology-driven energy efficiency.
In today’s corporate environment, digital transformation is
paramount. In the real estate and facilities management context, intelligent
building solutions are the pathway to digital transformation. There is a direct
tie to tackling climate change when you consider building operations account
for 40% of the country’s emissions footprint. Energy management is now just one
part of the storyline for the intelligent building. Customers seek lower
utility bills, but the future is with solutions that deliver these savings
alongside occupant-focused experience improvements because these solutions
deliver the bottom line befits associated with their biggest cost center, human
In 2019, technologies that link the occupant experience to facility optimization will see major success as they unify cost savings and corporate strategic imperatives. Executives want to measure ROI and build their brand around sustainability and digital transformation. Mobile apps and analytics can be a powerful toolkit to drive behavioral change for energy efficiency and showcase technology strategy.